Endoscopic management of sphenoclival neoplasms: Anatomical correlates and patient outcomes

C. Arturo Solares, David Grindler, Amber Luong, Seth J. Kanowitz, Burak Sade, Martin J. Citardi, Pete S. Batra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objective: To characterize the endoscopic anatomy of the sphenoid sinus and the adjacent clivus and cavernous sinus, and to review patient outcomes for neoplasms in this region. Study Design: Cadaver dissection and chart review. Setting: Cadaver laboratory and tertiary care center. Subjects and Methods: Fresh-frozen cadaver heads were dissected to study the endoscopic anatomy of the sphenoclival region. Retrospective chart review of patients undergoing endoscopic resection of sphenoclival neoplasms between 2000 and 2008 was performed. Results: Transnasal endoscopic access to the sphenoid sinus was obtained in 10 cadaver heads. A clival window with mean dimensions of 1.4 cm × 1.7 cm was created. Through the clival window, identification and dissection of the basilar and vertebral arteries, mamillary bodies, third ventricle, cranial nerves III through VI, and cervical rootlets were possible. Nineteen patients with mean age of 56.2 years were treated. The most common pathologies were inverted papilloma (5), chordoma (4), squamous cell carcinoma (2), and adenoid cystic carcinoma (2). None of the patients required adjunct craniotomies. Nine patients received adjuvant therapies. Thirteen (68.4%) patients had no evidence of disease, five (26.3%) patients were alive with disease, and one (5.3%) patient died of disease at mean follow-up of 32.6 months. Conclusion: The sphenoclival region poses a significant surgical challenge given its central location at the skull base and proximity to critical structures. This study demonstrates that transnasal endoscopic access to the sphenoclival region is technically feasible and allows successful surgical extirpation of tumors with a low complication rate and acceptable patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-321
Number of pages7
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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